With its announcement of a new unlimited storage plan, Amazon Web Services tossed a big monkey wrench into the cloud computing market. The unlimited plan will cost a mere $60 a year for all file types, with a photo-only plan costing $12 a year, including 5GB for "other files." Also, if you're an Amazon Prime customer, AWS provides the unlimited photo storage for free.
Of course, this new storage plan is aimed at both individual and enterprise users, and it's an attack on Microsoft and storage providers such as Dropbox and Box.
It's also a good indication to me that AWS understands what people are looking for in cloud technology: price (how much it costs) and performance (what it can do).
Enterprises are looking for the same two items. Enterprises approach public cloud computing for two core reasons: cost savings and agility.
We don't want to build any more data centers, we don't want to buy new hardware and software, and we don't want to toss huge amounts of money at the enterprise software providers. Also, we don't want to take a year or more to get new applications or infrastructure into production, and we want to change them as needed, with no latency.
When I select public cloud providers for enterprise clients, the winner is the one that provides the best price and the best performance. Winning public cloud providers understand that prices are dropping, but quality of service must remain above expectations.
Of course, other factors should come into play during the selection process, such as security, compliance, and points of presence. But in those areas, too, it comes down to price and performance.
What you'll likely see is -- you guessed it -- continued price reductions in the near and distant future.
Of course, the cheapest solution is not always the best solution. Remember: You still need appropriate performance. That's why you have to consider the public clouds holistically, including all features, utilities, and areas of service.
But we're quickly moving to a point where most cloud services will be equal, so the deciding factor will be what performance you can get for the price. Perhaps public cloud service is becoming -- or has already become -- a commodity. AWS certainly gets that truth.